VOGONS


Amstrad Mega PC

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Reply 180 of 202, by Zalog

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keropi wrote on 2021-10-24, 12:23:

Just a heads up for anyone else considering getting either the Mega EverDrive PRO or the MegaSD flashcarts for Mega-CD support:
I got a mega everdrive PRO and although it works fine on my normal megadrive 1 console on mega-pc it it very problematic - normal cartridge games have gfx glitches like missing or flashing pixels.
Mega-CD stuff do not work at all, you just get a black screen , no bios load or anything...

Hi Keropi, as promised here are some details from my everdrive pro cartridge for you to compare with

Build date is 31/08/2020
It's detecting the MegaPC as a "EU PAL 50" system
The OS version is 4.07 (not the oldest as apparently my partner ugraded the cart when she got it).
Looking at the OS changelog for the Everdrive Pro cart, OS, there is a note stating

!!WARNING!! After this update cart will no longer be supported with older OS versions.
However, repair tool can be used for roll back to the older OS versions: http://krikzz.com/pub/support/mega-everdrive/ … ries/repair.zip

So if yours is a more modern version 4.09 to 4.13 (at the moment) - it'll need the repair tool if you want to try the older (4.07) version.

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-10-27, 18:50. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 181 of 202, by keropi

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Zalog wrote on 2021-10-27, 15:14:
Hi Keropi, as promised here are some details from my everdrive pro cartridge for you to compare with […]
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keropi wrote on 2021-10-24, 12:23:

Just a heads up for anyone else considering getting either the Mega EverDrive PRO or the MegaSD flashcarts for Mega-CD support:
I got a mega everdrive PRO and although it works fine on my normal megadrive 1 console on mega-pc it it very problematic - normal cartridge games have gfx glitches like missing or flashing pixels.
Mega-CD stuff do not work at all, you just get a black screen , no bios load or anything...

Hi Keropi, as promised here are some details from my everdrive pro cartridge for you to compare with

Build date is 31/08/2020
It's detecting the MegaPC as a "EU PAL 50" system
The OS version is 4.07 (not the oldest as apparently my partner ugraded the cart when she got it).
Looking at the OS changelog for the Everdrive Pro cart, OS, there is a note stating

!!WARNING!! After this update cart will no longer be supported with older OS versions.
However, repair tool can be used for roll back to the older OS versions: http://krikzz.com/pub/support/mega-everdrive/ … ries/repair.zip

So if yours is a more modern version 4.09 to 4.13 (at the moment) - it'll need the repair tool if you want to try the older (4.07) version.

interesting stuff , thanks!
my EDPRO is quite recent and I am running 4.13 atm
I do not think the sega-cd bios is at fault because games run fine on normal md console and secondly the normal game gfx issues have nothing to do with cd bios
I will downgrade and report back

Last edited by Stiletto on 2021-10-27, 18:50. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 182 of 202, by keropi

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allright!
I used repair.zip to downgrade and started trying all OS updates from 4.07 to the latest 4.13
this time CD games worked fine (!) - even on latest 4.13 that did not work before - same SD same files same CD BIOS
the only thing that was the same in all versions were the small graphics glitches, Zalog can you test your system and see if you get this Tails corruption on Sonic 2?

yibOfrL.png

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus Soundcard , Action Rewind and Megacard website

💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 183 of 202, by Zalog

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keropi wrote on 2021-10-27, 16:47:
interesting stuff , thanks! my EDPRO is quite recent and I am running 4.13 atm I do not think the sega-cd bios is at fault becau […]
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interesting stuff , thanks!
my EDPRO is quite recent and I am running 4.13 atm
I do not think the sega-cd bios is at fault because games run fine on normal md console and secondly the normal game gfx issues have nothing to do with cd bios
I will downgrade and report back

Glad the downgrade works. Interesting the re-upgrade to 4.13 keeps everything working - it perhaps suggests this is something that 4.07 does that is kept or inherited as the os is upgraded- it would be useful to ask the os author to look into it, as this suggests it could be fixed

Yes the bios suggestion was a very long shot, but I thought it could be possible (although highly unlikely) that you've encountered two separate faults - one gfx related and another related to the cd bios not loading. I'll have a look at sonic 2 in a bit !

Reply 184 of 202, by Zalog

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keropi wrote on 2021-10-27, 17:35:

......the only thing that was the same in all versions were the small graphics glitches, Zalog can you test your system and see if you get this Tails corruption on Sonic 2?

Yes have just checked Sonic2 and I get graphical glitches with tail too - I'd never loaded this game on the everdrive pro so didn't notice it ! (apologies for phone pic)

Sonic2.JPG
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Checked my original cart of Sonic 2 on the MegaPC and definitely don't get this, so its not a problem with the amstrad running this game, it suggests you've found a second bug in the OS to report to krikkz , i have my fingers crossed he can fix it.
Still at least you've found a methodology to fix the first (no MegaCD) one, so megapc's can use this cart whilst he works on fixing both of them.

Reply 185 of 202, by keropi

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Zalog wrote on 2021-10-27, 18:07:
Yes have just checked Sonic2 and I get graphical glitches with tail too - I'd never loaded this game on the everdrive pro so did […]
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Yes have just checked Sonic2 and I get graphical glitches with tail too - I'd never loaded this game on the everdrive pro so didn't notice it ! (apologies for phone pic)

Sonic2.JPG

Checked my original cart of Sonic 2 on the MegaPC and definitely don't get this, so its not a problem with the amstrad running this game, it suggests you've found a second bug in the OS to report to krikkz , i have my fingers crossed he can fix it.
Still at least you've found a methodology to fix the first (no MegaCD) one, so megapc's can use this cart whilst he works on fixing both of them.

thanks for checking Zalog, at least it's not my MED or system that behaves like that.
My cart must have had some corruption in fw or something, I cannot explain why after downgrading with repair.zip it started working - but I won't complain about it! 🤣 🤣 🤣
I have reported all these to krikzz , I hope there is a cure!
I have been playing some MCD games all this time and I cannot detect any pixel errors with them. weird.
I also tried a real Sonic2 cart - it worked fine just like the MED works fine on a standard md console....

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus Soundcard , Action Rewind and Megacard website

💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 186 of 202, by keropi

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I messed quite a bit with CD games yesterday and I got some weird behavior... although I could not detect any gfx issues with any CD game - I was playing Popful Mail for ~1hr and on saving I got this crash screen:

DgQh9TE.jpg

after that Popful Mail would not load. I had to delete the sram save file it created so the game would load but after a couple of times it failed again with a black screen - not even CD BIOS would load. Re-wrote the game files to SD again (there was no corruption but I did it anyways) but that did not help. Other CD games load fine though. I have no idea what is going on but it seems there are stability issues ....

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus Soundcard , Action Rewind and Megacard website

💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 187 of 202, by Zalog

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keropi wrote on 2021-10-28, 11:08:

after that Popful Mail would not load. I had to delete the sram save file it created so the game would load but after a couple of times it failed again with a black screen - not even CD BIOS would load. Re-wrote the game files to SD again (there was no corruption but I did it anyways) but that did not help. Other CD games load fine though. I have no idea what is going on but it seems there are stability issues ....

Very odd - I wonder if the act of saving caused the issue and screwed something up in the cart - might be worth running the "fix" program again to see if it makes it work again. Definitely agree with you that there are some issues with the cart as the original games play fine. Interesting though that they are confined to only some games, perhaps they are calling for resources on the cart which aren't covered properly in the OS yet ? Will definitely not play Popful Mail on the cart now !

Reply 188 of 202, by keropi

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Zalog wrote on 2021-10-28, 13:16:

Very odd - I wonder if the act of saving caused the issue and screwed something up in the cart - might be worth running the "fix" program again to see if it makes it work again. Definitely agree with you that there are some issues with the cart as the original games play fine. Interesting though that they are confined to only some games, perhaps they are calling for resources on the cart which aren't covered properly in the OS yet ? Will definitely not play Popful Mail on the cart now !

I think it's just because the MED-PRO is unstable on the mega-pc.
The trick was to delete the whole MEGA folder that holds the OS and copy it again from krikzz's OS package.
My guess is that some database got corrupted and prevented the game from loading...
We'll see how this goes in the end - tbh I am not hoping for much 😐

edit:
I found why popful mail dies like that: it's when you tell it to save to the emulated external ram cart
using the "internal" ram space does not crash the game
if you get the crash to get things going again you have to delete the MEGA folder and write a fresh copy...

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus Soundcard , Action Rewind and Megacard website

💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 189 of 202, by Jo22

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Um, I'm just a layman here, but I remember that certain models of the real Mega Drive/Genesis used a cheap Motorola 68000 CPU by another company (Signetics ?).
From what I remember, that CPU had stability issues under certain circumstances and thus wasn't very well suited for overclocking projects.
Maybe it has issues with bus noise, to high capacities or other things like DMA, too, not sure.
Another recommendation was to make sure that the 68000 gets clean TTL signals, some users used a HD74LS14 as "buffer" thus.

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Reply 190 of 202, by Richard Poll

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I’m really enjoying my mega card, thanks keropi!

keropi wrote on 2021-09-21, 18:29:
the Mega Card is now a thing :D it was made possible with megadrive guru Tiido's help […]
Show full quote

the Mega Card is now a thing 😁
it was made possible with megadrive guru Tiido's help

wxceRZ9.jpg

so what is onboard?

  • ALS100 soundchip providing SB/SBPRO/SB16 compatibility
  • a Yamaha OPL3
  • Realtek 8019AS ehternet controller providing 10mbps connection and boot rom support for XT-IDE BIOS
  • a scandoubler that makes possible for the onboard megadrive to output a standard VGA signal (it is a linedoubler like old amiga scandoublers, no framebuffer no lag - 1 scanline delay) , has jumper to enable/disable scanlines
  • an optional exclusive Serdaco MIDI daughterboard - the X3GS (basically same as X2GS but green and has some leds for added bling 🤣)
  • ISA header and MIDI I/O + routing configuration for an upcoming PCMIDI upgrade daughterboard , there are 2 midi jacks on board: 1x OUT and 1x IN/OUT selectable via jumpers

The ALS100 is a nice chip (and rare/expensive for some reason) but it cannot escape it's budget card roots. Rest assured this is the best sounding ALS100 card out there but do not expect quality to blow your mind.
It goes hand-in-hand with the Mega-PC that is a noisy and crammed system 🤣
The chip does support all SB ADPCM modes so there are no missing sounds in older games that use them.
The onboard Amstrad Adlib needs to be disabled with a simple mod - else the ALS100 software will complain about Adlib ports being used. Completely optional one can ignore that and edit ALS.INI by hand if needed.
The megadrive sound is routed through ALS100 so no separate speakers or external connections needed.

The scandoubler portion is now as good as it gets with the signals it gets from the original amstrad megadrive card - which is a little messy: video signal routing is not good and RGB levels overdriven.
Despite that, the photos below do not do it justice: at times one might think it's an emulator running and not the actual megadrive.
The ribbon cable from the amstrad megadrive card connects to Mega Card and then a new ribbon cable connects to the Amstrad motherboard. This way the original VGA port is used and A/V switching is done on the Mega Card.
There will be research how to mod the original amstrad megadrive card to bypass it's shortcomings: it will be quite some components removed but if someone wants to get the max quality out of it then it will be an option.

A small cable is needed to patch the megadrive clock to the scandoubler, this cannot be avoided and will look like this , solder points are 2 legs of the crystal oscillator...

mjLcbRZl.png

yf5z6g0.png

and here is how the card connects to the system:

nO71ctJ.jpg

and now some pics of the card in action 😀 keep in mind I cannot take good CRT photos for the life of me, my camera has especially troubles with color balance 😐

QkYTNdb.jpg

WT3HAI4.jpg

vyxFOtL.jpg

kpCesIL.jpg

MhMPz5H.jpg

zlfBExZ.jpg

kNnXJ2q.jpg

h1rewGj.jpg

bOexIMc.jpg

nY3cnby.jpg

l72qLhB.jpg

S7Az5eh.jpg

ViVwjZq.jpg

that's it for now! hope you like what you see

added 28-09-21

I am not sure what IMGUR will do to the 11mb JPGs but I managed to get better crt pics 😀
I suggest you click on the direct links to get the full resolution of the pics

HujdSFch.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/HujdSFc.jpg

FmPIfVnh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/FmPIfVn.jpg

8fogemAh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/8fogemA.jpg

SlExC6Mh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/SlExC6M.jpg

e2OUe7Wh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/e2OUe7W.jpg

5owYeERh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/5owYeER.jpg

Reply 191 of 202, by phipscube

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Do you have a Mega Card?

Edit

Wowee! Just checked the site and sent out a request to buy one! ...Joy!

Richard Poll wrote on 2021-12-12, 22:05:

I’m really enjoying my mega card, thanks keropi!

keropi wrote on 2021-09-21, 18:29:
the Mega Card is now a thing :D it was made possible with megadrive guru Tiido's help […]
Show full quote

the Mega Card is now a thing 😁
it was made possible with megadrive guru Tiido's help

wxceRZ9.jpg

so what is onboard?

  • ALS100 soundchip providing SB/SBPRO/SB16 compatibility
  • a Yamaha OPL3
  • Realtek 8019AS ehternet controller providing 10mbps connection and boot rom support for XT-IDE BIOS
  • a scandoubler that makes possible for the onboard megadrive to output a standard VGA signal (it is a linedoubler like old amiga scandoublers, no framebuffer no lag - 1 scanline delay) , has jumper to enable/disable scanlines
  • an optional exclusive Serdaco MIDI daughterboard - the X3GS (basically same as X2GS but green and has some leds for added bling 🤣)
  • ISA header and MIDI I/O + routing configuration for an upcoming PCMIDI upgrade daughterboard , there are 2 midi jacks on board: 1x OUT and 1x IN/OUT selectable via jumpers

The ALS100 is a nice chip (and rare/expensive for some reason) but it cannot escape it's budget card roots. Rest assured this is the best sounding ALS100 card out there but do not expect quality to blow your mind.
It goes hand-in-hand with the Mega-PC that is a noisy and crammed system 🤣
The chip does support all SB ADPCM modes so there are no missing sounds in older games that use them.
The onboard Amstrad Adlib needs to be disabled with a simple mod - else the ALS100 software will complain about Adlib ports being used. Completely optional one can ignore that and edit ALS.INI by hand if needed.
The megadrive sound is routed through ALS100 so no separate speakers or external connections needed.

The scandoubler portion is now as good as it gets with the signals it gets from the original amstrad megadrive card - which is a little messy: video signal routing is not good and RGB levels overdriven.
Despite that, the photos below do not do it justice: at times one might think it's an emulator running and not the actual megadrive.
The ribbon cable from the amstrad megadrive card connects to Mega Card and then a new ribbon cable connects to the Amstrad motherboard. This way the original VGA port is used and A/V switching is done on the Mega Card.
There will be research how to mod the original amstrad megadrive card to bypass it's shortcomings: it will be quite some components removed but if someone wants to get the max quality out of it then it will be an option.

A small cable is needed to patch the megadrive clock to the scandoubler, this cannot be avoided and will look like this , solder points are 2 legs of the crystal oscillator...

mjLcbRZl.png

yf5z6g0.png

and here is how the card connects to the system:

nO71ctJ.jpg

and now some pics of the card in action 😀 keep in mind I cannot take good CRT photos for the life of me, my camera has especially troubles with color balance 😐

QkYTNdb.jpg

WT3HAI4.jpg

vyxFOtL.jpg

kpCesIL.jpg

MhMPz5H.jpg

zlfBExZ.jpg

kNnXJ2q.jpg

h1rewGj.jpg

bOexIMc.jpg

nY3cnby.jpg

l72qLhB.jpg

S7Az5eh.jpg

ViVwjZq.jpg

that's it for now! hope you like what you see

added 28-09-21

I am not sure what IMGUR will do to the 11mb JPGs but I managed to get better crt pics 😀
I suggest you click on the direct links to get the full resolution of the pics

HujdSFch.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/HujdSFc.jpg

FmPIfVnh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/FmPIfVn.jpg

8fogemAh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/8fogemA.jpg

SlExC6Mh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/SlExC6M.jpg

e2OUe7Wh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/e2OUe7W.jpg

5owYeERh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/5owYeER.jpg

Reply 192 of 202, by keropi

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thanks for the support guys!
there will be an RMC video about the MegaCard later this week - it mainly focuses on the md part but there is some pc action as well in it 😀

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus Soundcard , Action Rewind and Megacard website

💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 195 of 202, by Tiido

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The video side won't be useful outside the MegaPC, LAN and sound will work though.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
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mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 196 of 202, by keropi

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PCMIDI addon for the megacard is in the works... 😁
it will be a tight fit - space is just enough for it

OJvQ3Va.jpg

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus Soundcard , Action Rewind and Megacard website

💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 197 of 202, by keropi

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....aaand it's done and working great as expected 😁

iYPCZeK.jpg

qXHNOqg.jpg

qDRQWqj.png

now the MegaCard project is truly complete 😀

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus Soundcard , Action Rewind and Megacard website

💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 199 of 202, by phipscube

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Truly amazing mate! It's something to be very proud of 😀

I'm currently waiting for my Mega Card to arrive.. watching it travel here via the tracking number, Mega excitement!